Tomakomai - the first candidate for the construction of an integrated casino resort in Japan

An advisory group to the government of Hokkaido Prefecture has once again identified the city of Tomakomai, an industrial port on the southern coast of the northernmost of the main islands of Japan, as the preferred location for an integrated casino resort (IR).

As a result of the repeated recommendation, the prefecture assigned Tomakomai a priority status as a possible place to house the future casino.

But Hokkaido Prefecture has yet to make a formal decision on whether its authorities want to apply for the placement of gambling sites that are allowed in the first stage of the liberalization of the casino industry in Japan to the national government.

At the third expert group meeting in October, Tomakomai was identified as the preferred venue for trading in Hokkaido because of its proximity to the center of tourism and winter sports in the city of Sapporo and to the new airport of Chitos.

Tomakomai is just 10 minutes from the air hub. Several large American gambling operators have already made official presentations demonstrating their interest in this location. Among them: Caesars Entertainment Corp., Hard Rock International Inc, Clairvest Group Inc.

The Japanese travel company Kamori Kanko Co Ltd has proposed the creation of a resort casino elsewhere in Hokkaido, which was previously considered by a group of local government experts. This is the village of Rusutsu in Siribeshi Prefecture in the center of the southwestern part of Hokkaido Island.

However, Rusutsu was not given priority status by the local government, since the economic value of the Tomakomai project is likely to be higher than for Rusutsu or the city of Kushiro. The latter is a settlement on the southeast coast of Hokkaido.

Recently it became known the name of another city applying for a license to build an integrated resort. This is Makinohara, Shizuoka Prefecture.

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